INSPIRATION | CONFIDENCE | SUCCESS

Round the bend

Swerving the ball using the inside of the foot can be used for passing around opposition defenders, shooting and taking corners – so it’s a technique well worth mastering.

What this session is about

  1. Making the ball ‘bend’, on the ground and in the air.
  2. Developing a technique that can also be used for shots and crosses.

What to think about

If using the right foot and swerving the ball from right to left, players must:

  • Approach from the left-hand side of the ball, at an angle.
  • Place the non-kicking foot to the left of the ball and slightly behind it.
  • Bring the foot around the ball, from left to right.
  • Strike using the inside of the foot, around the joint of the big toe.
  • Hit across the ball to the right of centre.
  • Strike the bottom half of the ball to lift it.
  • Follow through with the kick.

Set-up

Warm upSessionDevelopmentsGame SituationWarm Down
10 minutes15 minutes15 minutes10-15 minutes5-10 minutes

What you get your players to do

Set up a 20×10 yards playing area (adjust the length depending on the players’ ages), with two corner flags or poles set up centrally two yards apart. Use four players, split into pairs.

Players take it in turns to pass the length of the area to the pair opposite. Each player attempts to swerve the ball around the poles in the middle. Players must practise using both feet.

Four players curl the ball to each other with the inside of their foot, around two flags or poles in the centre of the area.

Four players curl the ball to each other with the inside of their foot, around two flags or poles in the centre of the area.


Development

Remove the flags/poles and move a player from each end to the centre, where they stand back to back.

The first player at one end side-foots a pass along the ground to the nearest server (S1), who returns the ball.

The player at the end controls it then hits a swerved pass to the far side around both servers. The sequence is repeated at the opposite end.

A further development involves the server running towards the player at the end to exert some pressure after hitting the return pass, as shown in the middle picture.

To increase difficulty, the swerve pass can also be hit first time.

A player at one end receives a pass back from a server (S1) then curls the ball around the central pair as pressure is added.

A player at one end receives a pass back from a server (S1) then curls the ball around the central pair as pressure is added.


Game situation

Play a small-sided game with a goal at each end and encourage players to practise bending the ball whether passing over distances, taking corners, or shooting from distance for goal.

Award extra points for such passes and goals scored like this. The team that scores most goals/ points wins.

Award extra points for curled passes and shots in a small-sided game.

Award extra points for curled passes and shots in a small-sided game.


What to call out

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